Parent-Centered Prevention of Risky Behaviors Among Hispanic Youths in Florida

Am J Public Health. 2017 Apr;107(4):607-613. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303653. Epub 2017 Feb 16.


Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of an evidence-based, parent-centered intervention, Familias Unidas, delivered by nonresearch personnel, in preventing substance use (alcohol, illicit drugs) and sex without a condom among Hispanic adolescents.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial (n = 746) evaluated the effectiveness of Familias Unidas among Hispanic eighth graders (age range = 12-16 years), relative to prevention as usual, within a public school system. School personnel, including social workers and mental health counselors, were trained to deliver the evidence-based intervention. Participant recruitment, intervention delivery, and follow-up ran from September 2010 through June 2014 in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Results: Familias Unidas was effective in preventing drug use from increasing and prevented greater increases in sex without a condom 30 months after baseline, relative to prevention as usual. Familias Unidas also had a positive impact on family functioning and parental monitoring of peers at 6 months after baseline.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the effectiveness of a parent-centered preventive intervention program in preventing risky behaviors among Hispanic youths. Findings highlight the feasibility of training nonresearch personnel on effectively delivering a manualized intervention in a real-world setting.

Trial registration: NCT01038206.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Health Services Research
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Primary Prevention / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk-Taking*
  • School Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*

Associated data